Bethel’s Global Influence
Article by Cory Center Contributor Rhonda Haslett

You may not realize this, but the Cory Center (which hosts this blog and provides free resources to leaders in children’s and family ministry) is a project of Bethel Seminary.  You can read more about how the Cory Center and Bethel are linked here.

Why do people take the time to pack up for a day’s journey to a conference?  They want to learn and grow.  They want to find out what’s going on outside of their small ministry bubble.  Often it is this exposure to the “outside world” that leads to inspiration and education and greater impact for their own ministries.  As balanced and cutting edge as the Bethel Seminary’s Masters of Children’s and Family Ministries program is, Bethel’s leaders are always seeking growth and expansion of influence.  Bethel has been researching how to bring deeper impact by exposing its leaders to other environments and ministry settings from all over the world.  Bethel is positioning itself for a greater global influence!

Bethel has been globally influential for years with students from other countries enrolled in their academic programs.   But in an all new emphasis to increase its ability to impact international ministry to children, Bethel Seminary’s M.A. in Children’s and Family Ministries has joined the Global Alliance for Holistic Child Development (HCD) programs.  The HCD Global Alliance is a voluntary group of seminaries, Bible schools, and other Christian academic institutions working together with researchers, trainers, practitioners, and other Christian leaders to create a global movement of academic programs in holistic child development.

Denise Muir Kjesbo, Ph.D., professor and lead faculty for Children’s and Family Ministry at Bethel Seminary stated, “Our presence in the Alliance gives us a new opportunity for global collaboration and partnership.”   In fact, her recent opportunity to speak at and attend the Global Children’s Ministry conference in Beirut, Dr. Kjesbo was overwhelmed with the need people and organization had from all over the world for excellent education in children’s ministry and leadership.  This is such an incredible opportunity for Bethel and the Cory Center to share vision and resources with such ministry organizations as the HCD Global Alliance, World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), the 4/14 Window Global initiatives, the International Fellowship of Evangelical, Mission Theologians (INFEMIT), Child Theology Movement (CTM), Compassion International, and Overseas Council International (OCI). To name a few.  To learn more about HCD Global Alliance, go to  If you area interested in the primary events happening around the world in conjunction with this partnership, you can read the newsletter for HCD at

David A. Ridder, Vice President and Dean of Bethel Seminary, confidently stated, “This is an important place for Bethel to be.  It puts us on the cutting edge of what I believe will be one of the major global missions movements of the next generation- the focus on the 4/14 Window.”  It puts Bethel and the Cory Center is a pivotal position to bring a great deal of formal and informal education to those who lead and serve children’s ministries who will impact the 1.2 billion children and youth between the age of 4 and 14.  It is a plea to the Church to reach and raise up a new generation that experience personal transformation and can be mobilized as agents for change in the world.

Why is it so important to be a part of a global movement?  According to Global Children’s Ministry, We must work together because, “children’s ministry is exploding around the world, the world is changing and kids are in crisis.” You can read why these statement are true at

With this partnership between Bethel and HCD Global Alliance we have the privilege of equipping the leaders of children’s ministries all over the globe.  Please join us in celebrating these new bridges toward shared ministry!  We believe God is inviting new vistas for Bethel Seminary’s CFM program in the global arena.

As you consider this global perspective of children’s ministries, ask the Lord to help you determine your local role as well as global role in reaching the 1.2 billion of lost children around the world.  Perhaps your for experience and exposure to global ministry could start right here at Bethel.